Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Interesting’ Category

On Fanciness and Neistat

May 10th, 2015


Lately I’ve been watching Casey Neistat a lot — the past three days, to be exact. I didn’t know him before. I accidentally stumbled into his YouTube channel somehow when I was watching another video.

Boy, how was I smitten by his video blogs, or vlogs, and his films in general. I like his narrative style. It’s brutally honest, yet charming. It’s a social critic for many of its episodes, but not an under-appreciation of somebody else or something else. He’s a good human being, a bit reckless at times it seems, but things seem to work wonder for him and his family. What I love about his attitude is that he’s frank, adventurous, and appreciating little things in life. He’s into his life and filmmaking. He’s into his passion. He takes risks. He cares about process. He gets things done. He cares about the big picture.

He works hard and delivers.

This style of attitude is something I admire of. It also shines in the people behind Basecamp, the one company I also admire for their honesty, get-shit-done mentality and no-bullshit policy.

At one point in his vlog he says he is very annoyed when people ask him about what tool(s) he uses to do his videos or films. It’s such an uninteresting question, he said. Early in the days he used basic low-resolution DV camcorders and edit them through free iMovie app. Nothing fancy. I also saw in some of his vlogs that when he shows the computer monitor, he’s indeed using the iMovie app.

Yes, he might have used other “pro” gears and software to make films but that’s not the point. Achieving a good result in film is about storytelling and ideas. It’s always the men behind the tools.

This somehow correlates to digital design.

Digital designers fuss about using this and that as tools — they fail to recognise that the best solution isn’t always using the best tools. The best solutions are also not always the pretties, the fanciest.

Designers can have the best tools but if the idea sucks, it gets nowhere. Designers can have the prettiest designs and animations, but if it fails to tell a story, it gets nowhere.

Try to tell a story or have the best idea, get it out as fairly quickly as possible, no matter how bad it looks. It’s this mentality that’s missing in some of today’s digital designers. Being adventurous or making mistakes is hell of a world they won’t enter.

Why companies in Asia tend to hire foreigners to fill top positions

April 18th, 2013

Interesting insight on why multinational companies in Asia tend to hire foreigners (read: Caucasians, Indians, or native citizens of the origin of the company, like Japanese) to fill top positions in the country’s operation:

They want people at the top who “understand the company culture”, and will “ensure communication flows easily between HQ and the region”, says Stuart Clark, a Brit who runs regional and global client relationships for media agency Havas Media, based in Singapore.

Apart from that, the communication part actually deals with speaking English:

And articulation in a business like advertising is key, he says. “Articulating nuance, brand platforms, ideas and strategies is tested every day in our business,” he says. Which can work against you if you’re not completely comfortable speaking English.

There’s more. It’s about the tendency of Asians to be introverted or shying away from confrontation:

The Asian tendency to be—and this is another massive generalisation—introverted by nature is a trait that doesn’t always mesh with a career in advertising, says Goh Shu Fen, co-owner of pitch consultancy R3. “We are less likely to go on about how great we are and we tend to be less flamboyant, which is a huge disadvantage in advertising,” she says.

What a way to start this Thursday.


April 9th, 2013

Retro Vectors is a free resource specialising in vintage graphics. Free to use for all purposes, and free of royalties too.

Cardiogram at 30,000 feet

February 4th, 2013

A doctor performed a cardiogram with an iPhone on a flying plane:

That day on the airplane, Dr. Topol displayed the potential of wireless medicine when he snapped an AliveCor device onto his iPhone and performed a cardiogram at 30,000 feet. Using this portable, cellphone powered device, Topol was able to see that the passenger was definitely having a heart attack and he recommended an urgent landing. The passenger was rushed to the hospital and survived.

The future of healthcare is in your pocketable digital device.

MBARI videos

February 4th, 2013

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute’s YouTube channel has some unbelievable, bizarre if not out of this world footages of weird fishes and other sea creatures, such as this harp-shaped sponge or a transparent-head barreleye fish.